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Wrexham council spends £30,000 on gates to stop rough sleepers outside their offices

Wrexham Council built gates costing £30,000 outside their offices

Wrexham County Borough Council have defended their decision to spend £30,000 on gates outside offices to stop rough sleepers.

The council erected the black metal gates in front of its headquarters on Lambpit Street because they said there were complaints of "anti-social behaviour" in the area.

Wrexham Council's chief executive Ian Bancroft, said: "The issue of installing fencing was due to a specific problem of rough sleepers and was taken forward as a result of complaints from the public due to anti-social behaviour and the issue of risk to staff and public."

"This work has been done alongside the actions taken to support individuals into sustainable housing solutions."

Members of the public have also agreed with the council commenting on "disgusting" conditions. One man said: "Its about time. They have put them there to stop the homeless sleeping there."

A charity has called the gates

But Homeless charity Shelter Cymru and a local group called Wrexham Homeless said the money should have been spent helping the homeless not stigmatising them.

A Shelter Cymru spokesman said you cannot “design out homelessness” and the "hostile architecture... chimes with a wider intolerance of people sleeping rough"

"The resources spent on designing, installing and maintaining these barriers would be better spent on addressing the root causes of homelessness to prevent it from occurring in the first place; and ensuring that where it does occur, meaningful solutions are on offer."

A spokesman for Wrexham Homeless said they were "shocked" by the move.

"l am sure the £30,000 could be better spent by facing the issues and dealing with them in the correct manner."

According to the charity other towns have made similar moves and "all it does is move the problem to another area"

Wrexham Council has faced £62 million in cuts since 2008 and the workforce has been reduced by more than 600 people.

They also face further cuts between £5.5 million to £7.2 million in 2019/20.

The council said the gates were built to stop rough sleepers